Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Softly, softly, now softly...

...Softly lie sleeping.

It's difficult to say "goodbye"
After only one life.

Life is so very, very short. I once heard it said that a life is the dash between the dates on your tombstone. I recently carved a tombstone for my cat, and as I drew the little dash between 1991 and 2006 I thought about all my memories with him. So many moments that flash back. At first it hurt so much to think about him, to hear him mentioned, to look around for him and then catch myself looking for him. Even just to see a chair he sat in, or to vacuum cat hair in the car. 75% of my life was spent with him, I can hardly remember a time without him--and yet he's gone, and it seems like a drop in the ocean.

And rain will fall down
Replenishing all of our broken dreams

Rain is so soothing. I think God built that into our systems the comfort rain brings. It cries with me, it softens and darkens a harshly blue sky or bright sun, it brings life. And when I'm happy it brings peace. Some people find rain to be desolate, lonely, heartless, but I've never found it that way. It's always been so friendly to me, like a friend tapping at the window to say, "I'm thinking of you; come out and play!" Perhaps it has to do with living in New Mexico, seeing huge fires eating up miles of forest and homes.

And this burning tree that's withering
Will bloom again, would you believe?

I do believe it. After the Cerro Grande Fire, I drove up into the mountains the next spring and a half burned apricot tree was still blooming courageously on it's unburned half. Also, it didn't take but that next spring for all sorts of greenery and little trees to pop up into the newly cleared space. The mountains didn't look dead, they just got a buzz cut. Now it' grown back so well--it's a forest again, just a little young forest.

Goodbye, goodbye, walk away it's time to say goodbye.
Goodbye, goodbye, walk away it's hard to say goodbye.

Why do we even say "goodbye"? It so rarely seems a good thing for some one to go "bye". And yet, When the time comes, it doesn't make it any easier, but it's right. And walking away is what you have to do, with each step ripping out a little bit of your heart. But it heals over too, in His time.

Now all that's left, pictures on the walls

Pictures. It's so hard to look at them still, and yet, looking at them brings back floods of memories. But there's a hole near the bottom of my stomach when I realize the subject of the pictures isn't around anymore.

Memories and stories that are told
The more often told, the bigger they get.

And it makes him live on--"remember when...?" and "that time..."

Create a legacy
Lest we forget.

A legacy. When someone has shaped who you are, when they have been a part of every good thing, and some bad things, in your life--there's no need to create a legacy, it's already there. There's no chance of forgetting.

No longer can I hold on
To this repeated changing heart I swear
It's time to sing "fare thee well"
To life as we know it

The time comes when it hurts too much to let go--and then it gradually fades into the background, so that it hurts more to hold on. And "fare thee well" is one of the best ways to say it--"I mean the best for you, I hate to let you go, but go on, and my blessing go with you." It's so radically different, and life will never be the same, but there is a time for saying goodbye.

My voice it will be
You know I will be
Yes I will be still.

This reminds me of God telling Job, "Be still, and know that I am God." Be still, my voice, be still my soul. Be still, even though the tears build up and over and out, and then stop as life goes on, a stream that hits rocks and falls and passes by peaceful knolls. This is a moment when we pass by something beautiful, solemn, silent--perhaps forbidden. A place we cannot tread, we just pass by. But we see someone we know there, and we stop to watch them as they slowly fade from sight.

Something woke me up
In the midst of dream and fantasy
Half way there.

Halfway there--right in the middle between sleep and awake, when the mind is free to wander where it will, ad it so often wanders where we don't want. But we sit up with a jolt, realize we are safe and warm in bed, and snuggle back under the covers.

But He always fills my cup
And He lifts me up
Oh how He lifts me up

Faithful--that is a word that descibes God. It is a word and a memory linked with Tex. God blessed me with an example of faithfulness. How can I refuse to put that lesson into play now that Tex is gone? I can't disgrace his memory like that. And as I come to His feet, crying, sad, sorrowful, and yet trusting, He does life me up, up from the floor where I'm crouched with my head bowed to the ground into His loving arms, where I can see my sorrow reflected in His eyes, and His love more than compensates for any hurt I've ever felt.

I never took the time to stop and realize
That death takes many forms,
Even while alive. (Goodbye, Plankeye)

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